PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo convened business and state agency leaders today to review progress on her initiative to foster innovation and promote a culture of continuous improvement across state agencies. "Rhode Islanders deserve a government that moves at the speed of business," said Raimondo. "We are making good progress in rethinking the way we work and empowering our employees to hone their practices with quality customer service in mind. Our focus continues to be on problem solving, implementing innovative solutions, and improving agency performance and outcomes."
Earlier this year, Raimondo announced her Lean Government Initiative with the goal of making government more responsive to the people it serves and success has already been demonstrated. As part of this effort, state agencies were tasked with examining their business practices and identifying areas for process improvement. Rhode Island business leaders on the leading edge of service delivery were also tapped to share their experiences and best practices.
Process reviews are scheduled or complete for many key government services, including environmental permitting, professional licensing for healthcare workers, and certification of minority-owned businesses. To date, more than 350 state employees have received Lean training and more than 20 agencies are participating in the effort.
The Lean Government Initiative is based on a proven methodology used by the manufacturing industry to eliminate waste, reduce wait and processing times, and realize greater efficiency and cost reductions. Today's Summit provided a forum to review agencies' progress as well as kick off the Lean Mentorship Program; the program pairs private-sector leaders with Cabinet directors to assist them in adopting systems and processes that make it easier to do business in the state and provide a higher level service to Rhode Islanders.
"DEM is in its third year of Lean implementation, and there is no doubt we are better for it," said Janet Coit, DEM Director and Chair of Rhode Island's Lean Steering Committee. "We've sharpened our focus, improved our relationship with customers, streamlined practices, and improved employee morale. The guidance and support I received from Karl Wadensten, CEO of VIBCO Products, are significant factors in that success. Our dialogue continues to help me work through challenges, provide better support to staff, and inspire meaningful change in the way we do business - all while keeping my eye fixed on our mission."
For more information on the Lean Government Initiative and today's Summit, visit www.governor.ri.gov/initiatives/lean.